Category Archives: Humour

Well hello Dolly…………………………..

Those of you who know me personally, will also know that cooking and housework are not my favourite pastimes. So, this month’s post is a bit more ‘tongue in cheek’ as it’s all about my recently acquired, ‘Dolly’ Dyson, cordless vacuum cleaner. It’s been quite a revelation, 😉.

So now I firmly believe…………

Pittabread Sept 2017

This is also what I imagine mum, would have been saying to me as I contemplated replacing our trusty and long serving Henry Hoover with a light-weight, cordless Dyson.

In fact, I can hear her quiet chuckle each time I grab our newly acquired Dolly Dyson and whiz around a room without a care in the world.

So, it was that a few months ago, I took the plunge and bought one.

We’d had our Henry Hoover for many years, but I’d reached the point where for the sake of my back and my sanity, I needed an appliance that would just make my life easier, pure and simple.

However, though Dolly is cordless and light-weight ‘she’ only has a battery life of 20 mins, so now I find myself planning my hoovering 😉 and being far more strategic in my approach. If you only have 20 minutes, you need to prioritise.

No more aimless meandering around the house for ‘hours on end’ with a ‘Hoover’ for me, thank you very much.

The arrival of Dolly has completely changed my  behaviour around hoovering, old habits have gone and been replaced with a new focus and almost, but maybe not quite ‘enjoyment’.

Can’t quite believe it took me so long to make the decision, and so in honour of mum, I’d like to say again:
Pittabread Sept 2017 2

Surprising what you can get done in 20mins, and I’m sure it’s helping to keep me sane.

So there you have it, until next time

Janice Taylor

The love triangle ……………

Now I have your attention, this is a story about the three ducks we had in our garden as children, Bill, Jemima and Gertrude.

Jemima was named after one of the toys featured on the BBC’s children’s programme, Play School, presented for many years by the late Brian Cant.

Though for the life of me I cannot remember how we came by Gertrude, and Bill was always going to be just Bill.

Anyway, back to my tale of unrequited love and ducks.

Pittabread July 1 2017

I remember returning home, after a weekend away to find three Khaki Campbell ducks installed in the garden.  My initial excitement at their arrival very quickly turned to dismay, when I realised that we (my sisters and I) would be responsible for collecting the eggs every day and cleaning out their hutch.

Out of all the animals we had when growing up these were the ones I disliked the most, well apart from the African Grey parrot but that’s another story.

They certainly, brought out the ‘Margot’ in me, for those of you who remember the ‘Good Life. I could never just shove my head in to look and grab the eggs. I wasted a lot of time holding my nose and groping around with my hand. Anything to avoid having to look inside.

It was bad enough having to collect eggs from an incredibly ‘smelly’ hutch and I still have the urge to ‘heave’ whenever I think about it.

 But then we didn’t see or eat a hen’s egg for years. 

To this day I cannot stomach duck’s eggs and never understood why we just didn’t get some chickens?

Anyway, back to the love triangle, the one consolation I used to get was watching our three ducks chase each other around in circles as it very quickly became clear that Bill had his eye on one of the ducks, let’s say for the sake of argument, Jemima.

However, unfortunately for Bill, Jemima was not in the least bit interested but Gertrude certainly was.

So, poor Bill used to spend a lot of his time and energy chasing Jemima around the garden whilst in turn being chased by Gertrude.
Pittabread July 2 2017

Don’t think this ‘drama’ was ever fully resolved the whole time they were with us.

In fact, they may well have been still chasing each other around in circles by the time I left home to study.

I think in the end they ended their days in an animal sanctuary after mum decided enough was enough. It was time for them to go.

So, there you have it.

Until next time


Janice Taylor


Travels around Italy with the best coach driver ever…

This story goes back to a time when I was in my late twenties and an advert for a coach trip to Italy, caught my eye.

I remember feeling a bit down and in need of a ‘pick me up’ so after a quick call to my sister two places were booked for the week-long coach trip.

Along with our ‘girlie’ holiday to Fuengirola this Italian coach trip turned out to be one of the funniest trips I have ever taken. From the pristine coach and it’s ‘caring’ driver through to the toilet that not one of us was ever allowed to use.

I cannot imagine putting up with this now.

Pittabread June 2017

But at the time we took this to be part of the trip and it became a ‘running’ joke amongst us holiday makers.

Certainly, remember the Venezuelan couple and their expression ‘Prego’ – which we adopted and used whenever the driver said no to someone using the loo, eating food, stopping to use facilities, just about anything really.

Though it was not so amusing when due to our late arrival at our first ‘official’ stop we were then not allowed to use the available facilities. We ended up having to go and use a nearby field in the dark. Still can’t quite believe we just went along with this as a group, especially as we had such a mix of ages amongst us.

It was a miracle that we didn’t leave anyone behind in the dark and even luckier we didn’t step in anything and bring it back onto the ‘blessed’ coach.  This was our first clue about the character of our driver who appeared to me to be doing everything for own his comfort and ease, with little or no  care for his passengers.

He clearly didn’t want to clean the toilets, didn’t want to clean the bus so no food was ever allowed on the coach. The coach radio only came on at the times he wanted. I’m sure extra stops were added in, to places where he got a cut of the takings.  Which might explain why we were so late for our first ‘official’ stop. He then had the almighty cheek to expect a sizeable tip at the end of the trip. It wasn’t happening.

But despite all this it was still a fantastic trip.  We travelled, to Florence, Venice and Rome for me the first time ever. This one trip made me determined to return to Rome (which is another story) helped by a great host who knew her stuff and could bring the history to life.

Pittabread 2 May 2017

We also met up with another group of women similar in age to us along with the Venezuelan couple. People with humour and fun and who shared our love for the coach driver.

And the trip did the trick it picked me up and gave me a new sense of optimism and perspective.

I notice this is something I have tended to do over my life, if feeling a bit ‘stuck’ for right or wrong I like to take action, either in the form of new study, travel or a hobby.

I find I like ‘shaking things up and getting a fresh perspective.

So, there you have it, until next time.


Janice Taylor

‘Del Boy’ with dreadlocks……….

This is how I’m starting to think about myself as I review my current activities, business and interests. In honour of the irrepressible ‘Del Boy’ Trotter character in the long running and very funny, 1980s Sitcom, ‘Only fools and horses’.

The one line that still sticks in my memory- even after all these years. “This time next year, ‘Rodders’ we’ll be millionaires”.

Of course, things never quite worked out as planned, but I have always loved Del Boy’s optimism and his eternal hope that things would work out for the best in the end.

Pittabread March 1 2017

So, coming back to me and my business, I never imagined for one moment when growing up that I would end up running my own business. I always thought, hoped, dreamed I would get a good job and work my way up the career ladder.

And then when I did start my own business, I did not foresee developing such an interest in social media and all things digital but that is precisely what happened.

I continue to be fascinated and intrigued by all things digital and social media related.

On which note, I for one would dearly love to see the ‘Trotters‘, on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, etc. Just to see how they would manage social media to promote their stall and other ‘business interests’.

So, now after running my coaching business for 17 years, developing an online presence around it and observing how some are thriving in the digital world. I am starting to dream a little about becoming an online entrepreneur, though quite how this will happen, I have no idea.

But I do know, I’m more energised by the potential I see for social media than I have been for quite some time and I think this is linked in part to my past work in open and distance learning.

I have the same sense of excitement and optimism I had when working for the Open University and Ford Motor Company. Where my role within both these organisations was based on the idea of making learning as accessible as possible, to as many as possible.

Have always believed that knowledge and learning should not be restricted to the ‘elite’ or the ‘lucky few’. In fact, as I write this, I can recognise that this is what is underpinning my fascination and excitement around social media.

So, I guess you never know, this time next year I may well be an online entrepreneur. 😉

Until next time


I’m a celebrity…get me out of here!

I am a big fan of the yearly show and have been captivated and enthralled by this year’s batch of contestants. How lovely it has been, with everything that has been going on in the world to have an ‘oasis’ of relative calm and positivity.


So, in no particular, order, here are my 15 observations from the 2016 show:

  • Wonderful to see how, overall, a group of people from all walks of life, different backgrounds, ages etc. simply just get on. For them to form real and I hope lasting bonds of friendship and love.
  • This one is for the producers, sometimes ‘less is more’, could have managed without the excessive use of ‘critters’ for some of the trials.
  • Another one for the producers, there is I think a very fine line between cruelty and entertainment and sometimes I think you crossed it.
  • There was no ongoing camp romance, just a lot of solid and caring friendships.
  • Everyone in camp had their moments, both high and low, it was great to see people ‘step up’ and provide support in the low moments.
  • The power of ‘mind over matter’, everyone without exception wanted to bring ‘home the ‘bacon’ for their camp mates.
  • There was time for silliness and laughter, especially with some of the ‘dingo dollar’ challenges. Loved the way people just entered into the ‘spirit’ of things.
  • I’m sure there was a moment when Kiosk Keith, almost cracked a smile when Scarlett and Adam went to cash in their ‘Dingo Dollars’.
  • Somehow managed to pack a lot into three weeks, everyone had an opportunity to show their strengths and talents.
  • The challenges, allowed people to quickly build trust and strong bonds.
  • Really appreciated, the general lack of gossip and backbiting overall, certainly compared to other series. Had the sense that most things were overall ‘laid out in the open’ and issues dealt with quickly. Things didn’t or weren’t allowed to fester.
  • Liked the way jobs were swopped around, giving people a chance to have a go at doing something different. I also liked the way care and consideration was given to assigning tasks, to people.
  • The genuine celebration of success between the camp mates, though to be fair this was linked to food. People shared their vulnerabilities so when they as Adam did were able to meet their fears head on, there was genuine appreciation and support from the other ‘camp mates’.
  • Ant and Dec, superb as always, providing just the right amount of ‘mickey taking’ and support when needed. Though I do long for the day when a ‘critter covered’ celebrity gives them a big hug, at the end of a trial. ‘Share the love’, I say.
  • In my opinion the right woman was crowned ‘Queen of the jungle’, simple as that.

So, there you have it, wishing you all a restful, peaceful and joyful festive season.

Until next time

Janice Taylor

Forget, ‘Be more dog’, I say, ‘Be more Jeremy’……………….

Have been completely amazed by the Labour leadership contest and the spectacle it has become. What looked like it was going to be one long summer of ‘yawn’, has been incredibly entertaining.

So much so that it has got me thinking that the only thing missing, is a little political satire in the form of ‘Spitting Image’.

Be more Jeremy

The long running satirical (sometimes a little cruel), but generally very funny puppet show that aired in the 80s and 90s and lampooned just about everyone in the public domain.

So I wonder, what would they do with this array of characters?  So in an effort to get the ball rolling here are a few of my suggestions as to how they might be characterised in ‘latex’:

Liz Kendall

Andy Burnham

Yvette Cooper

Save time, save ‘latex’ and ‘morph’ them into one puppet, with perhaps a little more of Liz in the mix. Really doesn’t appear to be too much to choose between them.

Gordon Brown, he’s a ‘grizzly’ bear prowling around, ready to cuff any dissenters around the head.

Tony Blair – don’t ask, had consigned him to room 101 a few months back in my March blog post, not quite sure how he managed to talk his way out.

But since you are out, Tony and have provided us with the wonderful phrase, ‘Alice in Wonderland, politics’, I think the ‘Madhatter’ as a puppet would work beautifully for you.

Peter Mandelson – the vampire, creature of the night, no one quite knows when and where he is going to pop up, but literally one bite and you’re a ‘Blairite’.

Finally, save the best till last.

The rock star that is Jeremy Corbyn………………

Though I can’t quite make up my mind which one, Mick Jagger, Elvis, or Shaking Stevens, please feel free to forward on your suggestions.

So I say forget, ‘be more dog’, ‘be more Jeremy’.

Until next time.



Here’s to you Mr T…………………

“Would anyone like to borrow for a couple of weeks, a highly sexed randy tortoise to mate with their female/s. Hutch provided, he goes to bed at 4ish! Very hearty appetite and is about 60 or 70 years old. “

This came up as a request on Streetlife, about a month or so ago. The original request and the ensuing conversation made me laugh so much, that I wanted to share it in this month’s post.

Pittabread tortoise

Couple of things to note about Mr T, (not his real name) I was particularly impressed by his age, even if there was a ten year margin of error. I was also struck by his ‘hearty appetite’ and the fact that he needed to be in bed by 4ish. Presumably to ensure he was up and ready for action the next day.

People weren’t slow in responding….……….

“Favourite Streetlife post of all time”, “Thanks you sooo much for the laugh” to “He sounds absolutely great! I’ll ask around…….”

There was a bit more ‘banter’ around Mr T and his needs and then the owner offered one more vital piece of information:

“I wish someone had a female too, as he is driving me and my dog around the bend, chasing and I mean chasing us around the garden!”

So now my respect for Mr T has increased even more, a 60/70 year old tortoise, who clearly invests in himself  in terms of his nutrition and sleep, so he has the energy and focus he needs to pursue his ‘interests’.

Unfortunately the discussion was closed without us finding out if Mr T did indeed find a ‘mate’, I hope he did. But this whole story does remind me of the tortoises we had as children. As potential pets they are often underestimated in their abilities and ‘personality’. But I remember regularly coming home from school to find Fred (one of our tortoises) happily pottering off down the lane whenever he got the chance. No mean feat when you can only travel at about 0.5 miles per hour.

So there you have it, here’s to Mr T and all the other tortoises out there.

Until next time ………..


PS for those not in the ‘know’ Streetlife is a local social network designed to help people make the most of where they live.